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Montag's Search For Happiness In Fahrenheit 451

Decent Essays
It is natural for people to seek happiness. Everyone has their own methods, but at the end of the day, they all search for pleasure and gratification for their actions. Sometimes, this happiness can be long-lasting, and at other times, it is merely a short-lived illusion. In Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, society has conditioned itself to believe that instant excitement and shallow stimulation is equal to happiness. Due to this, people no longer take the time to appreciate and create intimate relationships with others. Guy Montag, a fireman and conforming member of society, begins to question these beliefs. He begins to see that people seek instant gratification and refuse to put effort into finding happiness. He recognizes these traits not…show more content…
When he is walking home, Montag chances upon Clarisse, who is taking a moonlight walk. She begins speaking to him, and he listens, though most others would “walk off and leave [her] talking...[because] no one has time anymore for anyone else” ( Bradbury 23). Montag took time out of his day to humor a girl who he did not know, though he could have gone home. It would have been much more convenient for him to ignore her, and taken less effort as well. It is evident that Clarisse has met many people who ignored her, considering her surprise and slight bemusement that Montag listened. Clarisse describes Montag as ‘peculiar’, and claims that he does not seem very much like a fireman. This indicates that firemen, who are leaders and representatives of society, would not stop to talk to someone else, preferring to rush home instead. Montag’s society, generally, cares much more for constant comfort, pleasure, and gratification than the effort of interacting with others. However, once Montag does put in the effort to hold a conversation with Clarisse, he quickly develops an intimate bond with her. This, to him, seems overwhelming and revolutionary because he has never has such a close connection with anyone before, not his wife, not his colleagues. He only spoke to her for a few minutes, “yet how large that time seemed...how immense a figure she was on the stage before him.” (11). It is natural that Montag feels like Clarisse is the biggest person in his life, because he has never had a mutual, intimate, relationship with anyone else. He cares about her so much that he becomes extremely upset when she later disappears and is presumably dead. Montag only knew Clarisse for a short period of time, yet she is arguably the
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